Shellfishing Ban Lifted:
The Division of Marine Fisheries lifted the ban on shellfishing in Cape and Island waters on Monday, October 31, 2016. The count of the harmful plankton, Pseudo-nitzschia, has decreased in local waters to a level where it is no longer considered a threat to human health. Pseudo-nitzschia is a normal member of the local marine plankton community, but when the organism blooms, the toxic Domoic Acid it produces accumulates in the gut tissues of shellfish that consume it. Human consumption of toxic shellfish causes Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP), a serious and at times life-threatening condition. Scallops were exempt from this ban because the gut tissues of scallops are discarded and only the abductor muscle, used to open and close the shell, is consumed. Read more in the Vineyard Gazette article.